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Retained surgical swabs in maternity: Reflecting on why surgical swabs are being left behind and exploring how this could be prevented

Tuesday, March 29, 2022 10:40 - 11:15

Surgical swabs are routinely used by obstetricians and midwives during caesarean sections or perineal repairs following a vaginal birth. On rare occasions, a surgical swab can be left behind by mistake. When this happens, the incident is declared a ‘never event’. After a brief overview of retained swabs never events incidents in maternity, Francesca Spranzi will share her journey – with its successes and its failures - into developing a modified surgical swab prototype that aims to reduce the risk of never events linked to retained swabs. An open and unique insight into the challenges to promote innovation within healthcare.

Francesca Spranzi, Risk Management Midwife, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust